Pets are playing an ever-larger role in family life.
It used to be that a traditional family had a dad, mom, 2.5 kids and a pet.
Today many men and women in there 20s and 30s are waiting longer to get hitched and start a family. A common family profile in these millennials is mom and fluffy or dad and buster.
millennials are also looking for employers that are offering a pet-friendly workplace.
According to the American Pet Products Association, there are a lot of pets in North American households. In the US small dogs under 25 pounds has increased from 34.1 million in 2008 to 40.8 million in 2012.
This number shows up in the number of pets being seen in public places. Some of these animals are being taken everywhere because their owners have them classified as a service animal to help from everything from anxiety to seizures. These animals are in restaurants, shops, airports and anywhere that the owner can go.
One woman from New York took it to the next level recently and wanted to bring her pet peacock on the airplane with her as her service animal. For obvious reasons, she was denied.
Pets are an important part of our lives but this isn’t without some challenges. A cat is a little less work but a dog requires more attention. Not everyone can afford a dog walker or have them stay at a doggie daycare. With this aside, pets do provide us with a lot more freedom than kids do.
Being able to take your pet to work is growing in popularity and some employers are offering this as a way to attract the talent they want.
This does raise a few eyebrows at this might infringe on the rights of others at work and potential clients that may be scared or allergic to animals.
But where does the line get drawn? A dog or cat might work well in an office but what about a snake, a pet rat or that lovely peacock? Who decides what kind of pet are acceptable in the workplace? It could end up being like a zoo with pets climbing, chewing on things and being noisy.
Unfortunately, there is always going to be two sides of the coin with this, those that love pets and enjoy having them at work because it makes them more productive and less stressed and those that are polar opposite and produce less and get more stressed out because of it.
A solution for employers might be to have a pet daycare on site, like some workplaces that have kids daycare on sight.
Sure you are not going to be able to satisfy everyone but employers are looking for creative ways to retain their employees. If by helping them to relieve some of their financial pressures and create a better work-life balance, they might stay for a few more years.
I think with more and more people looking for this work life balance you will start seeing a few pets in the work environment, but maybe not a peacock.